I was treated to dinner tonight in honor of our ten year anniversary. Bob asked me where I wanted to go but he must have asked me after a meal or something because I came up blank. When he suggested Paris 66 Bistro, I could not refuse. We had been there once before and it was one of the best meals I'd ever had.
Our reservation was at 5, both to beat any crowds, and to get home in time for the Steeler game on Monday Night Football. (This is Pittsburgh, after all.) There weren't many people there so it was quiet and comfortable, if a bit too warm. The service was very good, accommodating without being overbearing.
One thing I love so much about this place is the bread. This is no ersatz french bread made at the bakery down in the strip district, this is a real french baguette. The taste and texture are incredible and it's really hard to avoid filling up on the bread before your food arrives. It's served with a very high quality unsalted butter.
You can't taste it through the screen but take my word, this stuff is amazing.
We both got the onion soup gratinee, utterly delicious though quite a bit more sweet in taste than last time. I don't know why-maybe they were using a sweeter onion? It didn't taste like an added sweetness, which is what led me to suspect the onion. It might have been a slightly sweeter wine for the broth, too. It was still delicious and unlike any other onion soup, just a bit too sweet for me.
I'm not sure if Bob felt I was threatening his soup but trust me, he enjoyed it.
It took me forever to decide on an entree, there were so many wonderful choices. It's a provincial style restaurant, but I still found it disappointing that there is no classic french fish/beurre blanc dish on the menu. I opted for the Basque Chicken and Bob had the Filet Mignon. I started with a salad.
The dressing was a house creamy dijon sort of thing that was really delicious. I stopped just short of asking for the recipe.
The decor is charming and very french kitsch. Lots of art nouveau posters and the obligatory subway sign.
The walls are a warm buttery yellow and the seating and tables are dark wood, making it super cozy.
The Basque Chicken is a french country classic and very similar in idea and composition to Chicken Cacciatore but with more delicate seasoning, less garlic, and potatoes included. It was a generous portion, deliciously prepared. The chicken had a lot of character; it was no bland, wimpy Giant Eagle fryer but a proper roasting chicken with lots of body.
This is another time you need smell o vision. Yum.
Bob's filet was perfectly cooked, and the sauce, vegetables, and potatoes were all delicious.
He said it was one of those meals when you're finishing it, you feel a little sad that it will be gone soon.
We had a carafe of a perfectly fine merlot with dinner. It was a great accompaniment to the meal. We almost never have wine with dinner out because it's usually prohibitively expensive but Paris 66 has a great wine list and their house wines are pretty reasonably priced.
You can't go there without having a few macarons after your meal. Paris 66's pastry chef apparently learned to make them in the place where the modern macaron was born in Paris, so they're extra authentic and incredibly good. You just have to try a variety.
All in all, as close to a perfect meal as I've ever had.